Celebrating Our Differences with Autism Awareness Month

April 03, 2018

While outside appearances make it easy to see how one human differs from the next, it’s not always as simple to see the ways each of us may vary internally. In order to bring awareness to these kinds of differences, the U.S. designated April as Autism Awareness Month, with the aim of promoting acceptance and celebrating the unique talents of those with Autism.

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects the way someone communicates and interacts with others, but many of those with the syndrome have other extraordinary abilities in subjects like music, visualization and academics. Approximately 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism, so it’s important to teach your little ones about this condition, too, and what it may be like to be friends with someone affected by it.

While autism affects each diagnosed person differently, there are common characteristics to be mindful of that will help create a mutual understanding.

Someone with autism may…

  • …get easily overloaded with too much information. Be patient, don’t judge, and calmly ask them if they’re okay or need anything.
  • …suffer from social anxiety. Be sure to invite them to hang out or participate in social events often, even though they may not always accept.
  • …have difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation and they may need more time to respond than you’re used to. Keep in mind that this has no bearing on their interest in talking to you or being your friend. Try to rephrase or write down what you’re talking about to help them.
  • …become overwhelmed by unexpected change. It’s important to let them know as far in advance as possible when a part of their routine will be altered or if plans you’ve made have changed.

Educating your children about autism is as easy as turning to a tried and trusted partner in development, “Sesame Street.” Last year, an autistic character named Julia joined the crew, and in her very first episode, Big Bird talks about what it’s like to have a friend on the spectrum. Julia is excellent at showing kids firsthand what may make them different, but why they fit in. You can find the 10-minute episode for free on YouTube.

 

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Immunizations: To Serve and Protect

April 03, 2018

We’ve all heard the saying “Better safe than sorry,” and when it comes to immunizing your children, this couldn’t be more important. Vaccinations protect your loved ones from the inside out, and are an invaluable way to prevent them from contracting potentially life-threatening infectious diseases by the time they’re just two years old.

If that sounds like a win-win, it is. Better yet, all the vaccinations your children require are available at no cost through AltaMed for patients 0-17 years of age.

When it comes to vaccinating newborns, it’s important that you stick to a schedule to make sure they’re receiving the proper inoculations and doses as needed. This time frame has been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect children when they are most vulnerable.

The current vaccine supply in the U.S. is the safest in this country’s history. The most common side effects are very mild and include pain or swelling at the site of the injection. Fussiness or a low-grade fever may also occur for a couple of days.

Disease prevention benefits far outweigh any possible side effects, which is why it’s so important to create a schedule and vaccination checklist for your children. Keep these records in a safe place and take photos of them with your phone so you always have them handy. As your child grows, you’ll need to have them available for schooling, child care and sports. If you’ve fallen behind, don’t worry – your primary care provider can help you come up with a plan to catch up.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (888) 499-9303. We can schedule an appointment with your provider who can help you figure out where your child is at in their immunization timeline and set up vaccination schedule.

 

Make Sure Your Child Keeps Those Pearly Whites Intact

February 06, 2018

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we want to ensure that your children have happy and healthy smiles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated cavity. Untreated cavities can lead to problems with eating, speaking and learning. Additionally, untreated decay can lead to major health problems and even death.

Here are a few tips to help your children maintain beautiful smiles and avoid potential health problems:

  • Have your child brush their teeth three times a day
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks, like candy, soda and juice
  • Take your child for a dental checkup every six months
  • Ask your child’s dentist about sealants, which can protect your child’s teeth from cavities

Give Kids a Smile

During the month of February, AltaMed participated in the Give Kids a Smile campaign because your child’s oral health is important to us. Our ultimate goal is provide a pleasurable experience at our dental offices and show children that going to the dentist can be fun.

Visit any of our dental offices and protect your child from cavities. Call to make a dental appointment for your child today at (888) 499-9309.